Ohio MJ Ballot Measure Backers Cleared to Start Gathering Signatures

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A well-funded effort to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio cleared its latest hurdle Friday when a campaign group was granted permission to begin gathering signatures for the 2015 ballot.

ResponsibleOhio, which is behind the controversial ballot measure, now has until July to collect at least 305,591 signatures to get their initiative before voters this fall. A campaign spokeswoman told Cleveland.com that signature gathering could begin as early as next week.

Though that may seem like an immense number of signatures to pull together, ResponsibleOhio probably won’t have much of a problem – it’s already raised at least $36 million for the overall legalization push, so the campaign likely has more than enough funds on hand to pay as many signature-gatherers as it will need.

If the measure does make the ballot, it would be the first-ever attempt in the nation to legalize both MMJ and rec with a single initiative.

ResponsibleOhio has also drawn the ire of competing legalization campaigns that don’t like how its ballot measure is structured because it would grant ownership of the first 10 cultivation sites to a handful of wealthy investors. That even led a San Francisco blog to title a post about the campaign, “Legal marijuana cartel forms in Ohio.”